Cobi robot autonomously performs needle-less vaccinations
It goes without saying that a lot of people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine these days, and will continue to do so for some time. A new robot is designed to help streamline the process, by autonomously – and needle-lessly – vaccinating human patients.
Known as Cobi, the device was developed by Canadian startup Cobionix, a University of Waterloo spinoff company. It's claimed to be the first robot to ever successfully perform an intramuscular injection, and it did so without using a hypodermic needle.
The idea is that after pre-registering for a vaccination online, patients will show up at a clinic or other location that's utilizing a Cobi robot, then display a piece of identification to a camera on the unit's touchscreen interface. As they arrive, multiple 3D depth sensors detect their presence.
Once their ID has been verified, the Cobi robotic arm retrieves a vial of vaccine from a built-in storage area. A LiDAR sensor on the "hand" of that arm is then used to create a 3D digital map of the patient's body, which is analyzed via AI-based software to determine the optimal injection site.
Utilizing a third-party needle-less technology, the vaccine itself is subsequently injected in the form of a high-pressure jet of fluid that passes through a human-hair-width orifice. The company is unable to provide more details at this time.
Cobionix co-founder Tim Lasswell tells us that it will be about two years before Cobi enters the healthcare market. Once that time comes, it is hoped that the robot will allow more people to be vaccinated at once, while also lowering healthcare costs – it could additionally be utilized in remote locations which lack trained clinicians.
For now, though, you can see a demo of the Cobi robot in the video below.
Source: University of Waterloo